Sunday, December 26, 2010

Surat al Tawba 9:6 The Speech of Allah

"Should one of those who associate others with Allah ask for refuge with you, then do give him refuge until he hears the Speech of Allah, then help him reach a safe place for they are people who have no Knowledge"
Notes before reading:
The Sufis consider all those who have not reached the degree of true knowledge of Haqq (Truth) to be"those who associate others with Allah". The titles: Fuqara’, Qawm. People of special knowledge refer to the Sufis. 
Ibn Arabi
 Give him refuge until he “hears” the Speech of Allah.
 The people of the Qur’an are the people of Allah and they are His close entourage; they are His representatives in the function of giving praise to Him. Their praise does not spring from their own self or from an existential choice nor does it arise from within them; what we hear of their words of praise is nothing but His words wherein He praises Himself, a Divine, pure and sacred praise free from the traces of the creation.
Ibn Ajiba
 O you Knower ! Should one of the Muslims, who have not entered into the countries of realities ( Haqa'iq, pl. of Haqiqat), ask to remain by your side and to listen to some of the sciences of the people of Allah and their secrets, then give him refuge.... it may be that this is the means decreed for him to enter among the people of Allah. The Fuqara’ should not push the non-initiated away, they should treat them gently and make them listen to what is suitable for their state; for the general Muslims have no knowledge of what has been given to those of special knowledge...
In addition, our own Shaykh said : "The people of special knowledge should not enter the country of the people of general knowledge without being accompanied by one of the latter otherwise the community would reject them ...Similarly the people of general knowledge should not enter the country of the people of special knowledge without the company of those who know or they will be rejected”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Surat al Anbya'a (51-57) : Ibrahim the Spirit

Old Image of the Station of Ibrahim near the Kaaba
And we bestowed upon Ibrahim His guidance before and of him We were fully knowledgeable. As he said to his father, what are those idols that you are continuously offering devotion to. He (the father) said, we found our fathers (already) worshiping them. He ( Ibrahim) said, you all and your fathers are gravely and obviously lost. He ( the father)said : Have you come to us with Truth or are you playing games. He said: far from it, your Sustainer is the Sustainer of the heavens and earth who split them asunder and I am one of those who witness this. By Allah, I shall plot against you idols when your backs are turned.

Notes before reading: For Ibn Arabi, Ibrahim is the Spirit; his father the primordial Nafs; his people are the celestial expressive selves, [the prototypes existing in the universe of potentialities]...The interaction of Ibrahim and his people is the external manifestation of the dynamics of the soul, the heart and the intellect between being guided and going astray.
The adverb [before] is one of the key words in this verse, opening up for Ibn Arabi and the other Sufi commentators vistas on occurrences in the Azal (eternity before time) and the realities of the verse.
I included at the end of the text brief explanations of concepts that may help with a deepening understanding of the commentary. I say deepening because no other commentary has ever given me the clear vision that what I am offered is not a fixed doctrine but a vessel to travel with through the verse towards the Truth (al Haqq)

Ibn Arabi states in his commentary on the verses:

"And We have bestowed upon Ibrahim" :Ibrahim is the Spirit, the guidance special to him, which only befits those like him. This guidance is towards the Unicity of the Essence (Tawheed Dhati) and the station (Maqam) of the witnessing (Mushahada) and friendship ( Khilla....[ thus Ibrahim al Khalil]). We bestowed on the Spirit this guidance “before”: meaning before we bestowed it on the ranks of the heart and the intellect preceding them in honor and loftiness.
“And of Him we had full knowledge” for no one else but Us knew of his accomplishment and his virtue in the elevation of his position.
He said to his father “who is the primordial Nafs” and to the other celestial selves (the potentialities):” What are those statues?” meaning: what are those intellectual images which are nothing but etchings made on the intellect by products of thoughts and by the nature of existent things (that the intellect comes in contact with, or apprehends)?
“Those to which you are devoted” meaning that you are diligent in representing and in placing in constraining images (Suwar pl: of Surat) [ an act which limits and chains thoughts and vision leading to loss of depth and the ability to voyage to the Unseen solely through the intellect]*
The above was said by the Spirit (Ibrahim) after it left the Station of the Sacred Spirit and protruded through the luminous veils into the space of the Unicity of the Essence, as Ibrahim peace be upon him said :
“I am free from what you associate”- I have directed my Face without deviation ( Haneef) towards He who has burst apart the heavens and the earth (Surat al Anaam see 6: 78-79.)
It is from this station that he said to Jibril peace upon him: “from you No”! **
“We found our fathers” which are nothing but ( 3ilall pl. of 3illa) the secondary effects of the previous universes on the Selves (Nafs) and are all from the people of Jabaroot ***
“In a state of worship of the idols” in that they internalized them within their own essence and became unable to be distracted from them.
“Obviously gone astray” in a veil of light from the Haqq, unable to reach the source/eye/ center of the Essence. Instead, they stand in devotion at the limit of the Attributes unable to be guided to the truth of Oneness (AHhadiyat) and to drown themselves in the ocean of Hu-ness.
(Ibrahim’s people said) “Have you come to us with the Haqq ?” meaning: Is the Haqq speaking to us through you or is it your Nafs ? In which case, your words are nothing but a game that has no reality.
“It is rather your Sustainer’ who is coming to you and speaking to you-He who sustains you by bringing you onto existence, establishing you, bringing you to life, denuding you (from all other than Him), informing you and teaching you...the Sustainer of everything that Has brought you to life.
“And of that “I” – to you- am among the Witnesses”: the Speaker here is al Haqq, the Sustainer. This witnessing is that of the Sustainership and of Creation.
“I will plot against your idols”, I will wipe the images of things, the prototypes ( al A3Yan)**** of the existing things that you have devoted yourselves to bringing about, maintaining and taking care of, then persisted in finding proofs for their reality and truth. You ignored the Eye of the essence of Oneness and instead hurried towards the multiplicity of the Attributes.

* see Surah (constraint)
** Hadith transmitted by Abu Hurayra detailing the experience of Ibrahim as he was being burned on the stakes, was increasingly drowned in witnessing the truth of Unicity, the archangel Jibril approaches him ans asks if he needs help, Ibrahim responds with the famous :" From you, No!" 
 أما إليك فلا Amma ilayka fala included in the collections of al Daylami and Ibn al Najjar
*** The Universe of the Jabaroot is the third level of the Universe descending from the Divine presence, it consists of the Throne and the Divine Emanations ( FuyuDd Ilahyiat)- (upcoming post)
**** Al A3Yan al Thabita : The fixed prototypes occupy a key position in the thought of Ibn Arabi. They are the restricted potentialities( archetypes) upon which the Divine Attributes take effect allowing for the possibility of the emergence of a creation that is able to perfect itself in order to return to the Divine (also an upcoming post) 
May Allah swt sanctify the Sirr of Ibn Arabi for this marvel of Knowledge which he shared. It is now that I understand the significance of the Station of Ibrahim so close to the Kaaba; closer than the Station of Ibrahim is only the Hijr ( the place of burial of Hagar, the woman slave who also truly never relied on anyone but God).
I cannot pretend that I got everything Ibn Arabi wanted to say but I pray that I have here something that is of use for us the voyagers. May Allah swt bless us all from Knowledge from Him.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Surat al-Hashr 59:19

Tree of forgetfulness
{ وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَٱلَّذِينَ نَسُواْ ٱللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ أُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْفَاسِقُونَ }
"Be not as those who forgot Allah, and so He caused them to forget their Selves; those -- they are the ungodly."

Sheikh al-'Arifeen Sahl al-Tustari (QAS) ( d.283 H) stated:
" The slave is for Allah ( li-llah) and Allah is for His slave.
Nothing is closer to Allah than the heart of the faithful; if an-"other" comes into it, he ( refers to the "other" or to the heart itself) becomes a veil.
Whosoever looks at Allah with his heart becomes distant from all else; and whosoever seeks His agreement and pleasure pleases Him with his toleration/forbearance ( Hilm); whosoever submits (aSLaMa) his heart to Allah finds that his limbs become free from evil ( (SaLiMat) and that they also stand true...."Their hearts have witnessed as much as they have guarded of their limbs"**.
Attend to your hearts....we are created, and our Creator is with us. Do not become slack in your striving, for Allah is your Witness wherever you are; so lay your needs with Him and die at his door and say: " We are ignorant and the One who know us ( 'Alemuna) is with us; we are weak and the One who strengthens us (Muqawwina) is with us; we are powerless and our All-able ( Qadir) is with us" is thus that whoever attends to his heart finds that the air, the water running on the surface of the earth, the earth itself and the heaven are all alike to him."
** This can be understood in 2 ways: 1) We can deduce from someone's actions how close he is to Allah in his heart 2) The preservation of the limbs from unacceptable actions increases the closeness of the hearts to Allah.
Source : Translated from the biography in Arabic of "Sheikh al-Areefin al-Imam al-Tustari" - by Dr.Mahmood Jeerat Allah-
Photo credit by Theilr

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rumi : from al Majalis al Sab'at

Even if there is, in this universe, some sign, for the man of realization,
as there is, for each divine symbol, an interpreter in the mind.

And even if there is, some path for the bird to travel the desert, to reach that universe,
although there is, in the feathers and the wings of each bird, an obvious predicament.

However, it is still not permitted for just anyone to enter the Souq of Love,
otherwise, there would be thousands of caravans under its every cobblestone

from Majlis One
From al Majalis al Sab'at " The seven sittings"- 
 translated from the Arabic translation of Dr. Issa Ali al 'Akoob

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Niffari : A secret sharing ( Munajat)

The Divine Attributes Al-Aleem (The All-Knowing) and Al-Qadeer (The All-Powerful) occur together in 3 verses of the Qur'an only:
Surat al Nahl 16:70
It is Allah who creates you and takes your souls at death; and of you there are some who are sent back to a feeble age, so that they know nothing after having known (much): for Allah is All-Knowing, All-Powerful.
Surat Fatir 35:44
 Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the End of those before them,- though they were superior to them in strength? Nor is Allah to be frustrated by anything whatever in the heavens or on earth: for He is All-Knowing. All-Powerful.
Surat al Shura 42:50
Or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves barren whom He will: for He is All-Knowing, All Powerful.

Niffari : A secret sharing
My God,
The references of every thing return to its meaning and its meaning has perceived the powerlessness of that thing. For the truth of every thing is ignorance for that thing: the thing is unable to know its own truth; and the meaning of every thing is mightier than its knowledge, which thus cannot perceive its meaning.

My God,
You are at the origin of every thing, You return it to what You will so that it becomes as You wish it to be; You execute on it what You wish and it becomes as You wish it. Its owner cannot protect it for he does not own it beyond You its Owner; nor does anyone own it beyond You so that You would be prevented access to it.

My God,
When each thing is powerless to know its own self, and powerless to perceive what harms it and what benefits it, how much more powerless is it to have knowledge of You and even more powerless to perceive any thing without You.

Source: The Book of The Speech and the Silence ( Kitab al NuTtq wal Ssamt)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Niffari: Mystic crying...

Islamic Museum of Art
Al-Dawha, Qatar

.........Those who were given knowledge in pre-eternity, when it is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration, And they say: 'Glory to our Lord Sustainer! Truly has the promise of our Lord been fulfilled!'They fall down on their faces in tears, and it increases their awed humility.

All crying is attached to a meaning that provokes it; this meaning ends in turn in a destination that is the aim of the crying; within this aim resides Joy.
The one who cries does so as long as that Joy is in his knowledge but not in his realization. As soon as he reaches and realizes the Joy, he stops crying.

The book of Speech and of silence ( Kitab al Natq wal Samt)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Al Shaytan & al Dhikr, Surat al Aaraf 7:200-201

Rouzbehan Baqli (3Ara’es al Bayan)
Al Shaytan is the dog of the ancient Qahr (The Subjugation that arose in Azal (sempiternity)). Whenever it barks behind the courtyard of your heart, on the side of your Nafs, escape from Our Subjugation to Our Lutf (Subtility, gentleness) and from Us to Us. The Prophet said :”I take refuge from You in You”, and the courtyard became flooded with the light of the Divine Manifestations, the Shaytan running away on all sides.... The envious Shayateen (pl. of Shaytan) observe the Friends of Allah from far so that, whenever the Friends slack at Witnessing the Remembrance and the Remembered and become heedless, the Shayateen can throw at them the fires of dark whisperings from the vials of the flesh. If the Friends would become established in the Station of Witnessing the visions of the Malakut (Realm of Souls), then the Shayateen would not be able to come near them for “they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness”. [Surat al Saffat 37:10].
Al Junaid saw Iblis in his dream and asked him: “Are you all able to pass by the gatherings of the people of Dhikr ?”. Iblis answered: “As is the case when one of you passes by our company, is touched by it and falls in love with us, so it is the case that when one of us passes by the company of Dhikr, he becomes prostrate”.
Qushayri ( Tafseer Lata’ef al Isharaat)
“Each strict man has a failing and each knowledgeable one commits a mistake; each worshiper has a period of difficulty and each one who is walking purposefully will have a period of nonchalance. For every walker there is a stop and for every divine knower there is a period of veiling. *The Prophet (saaws) stated:” A hundred times a day, clouding will cover my heart and I have to ask forgiveness form Allah swt” ...recounting that he also is subject to what others are subject to. He also said:” Bad temper will affect even the best of my community....
Ibn Arabi
Those who normally guard themselves from associating anyone with Allah, whenever they are touched by Shaytan and start attributing acts to other than Allah, they remember the station of Unicity and the Witnessing all Acts as coming from Allah and regain Sight of the Acts of Allah; with that all else, Shaytan and all others disappear from their Sight

وفي مسند الإمام أحمد وصحيح مسلم وسنن أبي داود وغيرهم عن الأغر المزني رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال { إنه ليغان على قلبي وإني لأستغفر الله في كل يوم مائة مرة } هذا لفظ أبي داود ولفظ الإمام أحمد ومسلم { إنه ليغان على قلبي حتى أستغفر الله في اليوم مائة مرة } قال : وسمعته يقول { : توبوا إلى ربكم فوالله إني لأتوب إلى ربي - تبارك وتعالى - مائة مرة في اليوم }

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jood ( Divine Generosity) Surat Ibrahim 14: 34

"And He gave you, from pre-eternity on, from all you asked Him for... and were you to count the bounties of Allah you could not number them. Verily, man is in ever deepening darkness, and thus unfairness; a perverse concealer of the Truth". 

Ibn Arabi

قلت لما أن قال قومي بأنـي

قلت ما قلت والكؤس تـدار
من مدير الكؤس قلت حبيبـي

وهو شربي الذي عليه المدار
ثم قالوا فما يقـول حـبـيب

في إله له القلـوب تـعـار
ولسان الكريم يعطـيك مـالا

ثم يأتيك سـائلاً فـتـحـار
كرماً منه وامتناناً وفـضـلاً

ولك الحكم بعد ذا والخـيار
إن تشأ قلت أنت مالـك هـذا

أو تشأ ضده فـلـيس يغـا
كل هذا أباحه لـك فـضـلاً

حكم الخبر فيه والاضطرار
Since my people said that I said what I said as the goblets were passed around,
I said, “Who is passing the goblets?”
I said, “My beloved! He also is my drink being passed around”.

They said, “What does a lover say of a Divinity to whom hearts are loaned ?
The speech of the most Generous confounds you;
 he gives you money then comes, a beggar, asking from you”

All of it is from Him: Generosity, Bounty and Grace.
The decision is after that for you, and the choice:
You may wish to say, "You are the Owner of all this",
or you may wish otherwise, He will not dispute.

All of it He has permitted you out of His Grace:
To decide what to make known about Him freely or to be compelled.

Source: Al Futuhat al Makkiah p. 2402 
" Knowledge of the Abode of the Keys to the Storehouses of Divine Generosity" 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Laylatul Qadr 97:1

"We descended it in Laylatul Qadr"
Ibn Arabi
Laylatul Qadr is the physical frame of Muhammad (saaws) in the temporary state (Hal) of the Heart in which he became veiled from the witnessing of the Essence. The descent cannot occur without this state. Qadr is the high rank and nobility of the Prophet (saaws)- the verse means that the high rank of the Prophet does not appear and is not known to himself until that night.
If the fast of Ramadan is started on a Wednesday then Laylatul Qadr is the 29th night.
Fakhr al Deen al Razi
The use of  the "We" pronoun is for the sake of investing the matter with Greatness.
On the meaning of Qadr:
Qadr with a silent ( sukoon) "d" is a verbal noun (masdar) meaning high rank and with a "d" that has a Fatha (da) is a noun meaning :" the decree", " the measuring out" as in Surat al Dukhan 44:4 " On that night every judicious matter is separated distinctly".
The night was called al Qadr (cooking pot) because the Earth becomes overfilled with Angels.
Various Ahadith point to its occurrence in the last 10 days of Ramadan 
al Hassan al Basri
It is the night of the 17th of Ramadan because the day that follows it is the day of the battle of Badr.
Sahl al Tustari
It is named the night of Qadar" measuring out" because during it Allah swt decreed Rahmat ( Divine Mercy) for all his slaves.
Rouzbehan Baqli 
 That night where His Beauty is revealed to the Divine Knowers and the people of Winessing from those who are favored with His proximity. It is He, who has decreed their planes of consciousness (Manazil, pl. of Manzil) in the stations of Knowledge or Unveiling. It is He also who has decreed the ordainment of the Unseen and brought into view the Lights of His Dominion and of His Innermost Realm ( al Jabarut) to those endowed with Hearts. That is why Angels and the Spirit descend on that night, for they give them glad tidings of approaching Union ( Wisal) and eternal revelations of Divine Beauty.
It was said that the descent of the Angels on that night is in order to infuse the heart of the Divine Knowers with Rooh ( Spirit) .
 It is a night during which the worshippers find the measure of their Selves and the Divine Knowers witness the measure of the One they worship....What a difference there is between the finding of a Qadr and the witnessing of a Qadr!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Surat al Nisaa' 4:2 " The Possessions of the Orphans"

Black Hole
Hence, render unto the orphans their possessions, and do not substitute bad things [of your own] for the good things [that belong to them], and do not consume their possessions together with your own: this, verily, is a great crime.

Ibn Arabi 
 “And render unto the orphans” those orphans among your spiritual powers who are cut off from the care and sustenance of the Sacred Spirit who is their father
“their possessions” the knowledge and the accomplishment they need, and sustain them with them
“And do not substitute the bad for the good” what belongs to the realms of the senses, the illusions or the dark whisperings of the Nafs instead of what they should be receiving from you.
“And do not consume their possessions together with your own” that is do not mix them so that Truth and untruth become imprecise and shady and do not use them to pursue your selfish sensual needs and desires
“ verily it is a great crime” this would lead to your veiling and your deprivation [from Divine closeness] .

Monday, August 30, 2010

Khatm al Anbiya' : Seal of Prophecy

Imprint of the Seal of the Prophet (saaws)
 Ibn Arabi states:

Muhammad saaws was the foremost locus of the human Prophecy as per his statement:” I was already a Prophet when Adam was between [the stages] of water and mud”. He is the locus of the Seal of Prophecy as per the statement of Allah swt : “ Muhammad has never been the father of any of your men, rather the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of Prophets” (Surat al Ahzab 33:40). When Muhammad claimed to be the father of Zaid [ibn Haritha]*, Allah swt denied the claim that Muhammad was the father of any of our men in order to make void any such relationship and to set his rank apart. Do you not see that no biological male child of the Prophet survived because of his being, in the foreknowledge of Allah, the Seal of Prophecy?

The Prophet said that the Message of Tashree3 (Legislation organizing a religious Path) that he was sent with, along with the Prophecy have ceased; meaning that any subsequent rulings do not originate from Allah and are not our Shariah: “No messenger after me will come with a ruling different from mine, and no Prophet will come with his own ruling sent from Allah”. In that way, he declared the end of the legislative Prophecy. Had he meant something other than that, it would contradict his saying that Issa (as) will descend among us and will be a fair judge ruling between us according to our own Shar’ ( Religious Lesgislation). We do not doubt that Issa (as) is a Messenger and a Prophet [but will not come with another Shari’a that would make void that of the Prophet Muhammad (saaws)]. 

The foregoing means that all humanity until Judgment day including al-Khidr, Elias and Issa is the manifest community of Muhammad, while all humanity from Adam to the day of the Prophet’s Messengership is his interior community.

Source: al Futuhat al Makkia ( The Meccan Openings) p: 2598

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ibn Arabi: "Those whom Allah loves".

Know then, may Allah grant you success, that, Love is a Divine station for He has characterized HisSelf by it and named Himself in the Qur'an al-Wadood (The Loving), and in the Hadith, the Lover.

He is the One Who inspired to Musa in the Torah: "O you son of Adam, by your right with me, I am a Lover, be then a lover to Me."

Mahhabat (Divine Love) has been mentioned in both Qur'an and Sunnah in reference to Allah and the created beings. Allah swt has mentioned the types of people He loves, according to their characteristics; He has also mentioned the characteristics of the people He does not love.

He commanded the Noble Prophet to tell us: "If you love Allah follow me; Allah will love you… "3:31 and stated: "O you who believe! If any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him 5:54"

In mentioning the types of people whom He loves, He then informed us that Allah loves:
Those who turn to Him in repentance 2: 222
Those who purify themselves and those who keep themselves clean and pure(Mutaharun and Mutatahirun) 2: 222 & 9: 108
Those who rely on Him ( al-mutawkilun) 3: 159
Those who are patient 2: 153 ( al-sabirun)
Those who are grateful & thankful 31: 4 (al-shakirun)
Those who give in charity 12: 88 ( al-mutasadiqun)
Those who do good 2: 195, 3:134, 3: 152, 5: 13, 5: 93 ( al-muhsinun)
Those who fight in His cause in [solid] ranks, as though the were a building firm and compact 6:14

The Almighty distanced Himself from some folks because of the presence of characteristics that He does not love; meaning that He, may He be praised, wants those characteristics to vanish, which can only happen if they are replaced with their opposites.
The Almighty informed us that He does NOT love:
Those who spread corruption, the evil-doers ( al-mufsidun) 5:64, 28: 77. He does not love corruption (fasad) 2: 205, the opposite of which is working righteousness/making peace/doing good (salah).
Those who exult over riches 28:76 (al-farihun)
Those who are conceited and act in a boastful manner 4:36 & 31: 18(al-mukhtalun)
Those who are unfair, the oppressors 3:57 & 42:40 (al-zalimun)
Those who exceed the bounds, the squanderer 6:141 (al-musrifun)
The disbelievers 3:32, 30:45 (al-kafirun)
Those who speak evil openly 4: 148
The aggressors 5: 87 (al-mu'tadun)

It is so, that, Allah swt has also made certain matters lovable to us:
Either by their absolute lovable value as He said stressing our indebtedness to Him: 49: 7 "But Allah has made faith (Iman) lovable to you"
Or by making them attractive in our eyes: 3: 14 "Alluring unto man is the enjoyment of worldly desires" and said in the case of the human pair: 30:21
"He put loving-kindness (mawadat) and mercy (rahmat) between you".

Source : Al Futuhat al Makkia " The Meccan Openings"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ibn Arabi : Abd al Wali, Word of Fahwaniat

From Kitab al “3Abadila“(Those who carry the name 3Abd (slave, servant) + a beautiful Name)

3Abdullah bin Haroon bin Abd al-Wali

Surat al Shura 42:9
أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاءَ فَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْوَلِيُّ وَهُوَ يُحْيِي المَوْتَى وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ
Did they, perchance, [think that they could] choose protectors other than Him? But Allah alone is the Protector [of all that exists], since it is He alone who brings the dead to life, and He alone who has the power to will anything.

He said, “There are 5 types of Knowledge:

  1. The Science of Ahwal (pl. of Hal, Transient state of Being), it is likened to Wine.
  2. The Science of Awham (pl. of Wahm, Illusion, false perception), it is likened to Honey
  3. The Science of Tawheed (Unicity) and by this I refer to that which was brought by the divinely appointed laws, it is likened to Milk
  4. The Science of Forms and Rituals (Rusoom) is likened to water which in turn is divided into: a) water from Ghayth ( rain, help) associated with the Arwah (pl. of Ruh, Spirit, and what they contain), its knowledge is Changeless (enduring, fixed) b) Water from a 3Ayn (source, eye) associated with the universe of composition and what it contains of meanings, its knowledge is Changeable”.
He said, “Of the slaves of Allah, there are those through whom the rulings (constraining and molding) of worship course in their entirety without those rulings having been shaped in their hearts. If one, should ask: “Some acts of worship require Intention which is an act of the heart, how could one imagine worship occurring without it”? I would answer:” [In those people], even intention occurs without the person having a clear intent in their intent” [their worship comes from al-Wali to Allah without active involvement on their part]

He also said,” Whoever is realized through al-Haqq (Allah, Reality) is not characterized by the attributes of Sidq ( Truthfulness) or Ikhlas (Sincerity) nor does he experience a Hal (transient state of being) nor a Maqam (station)”.    

He also said,” Divine Opening (Fath) is not limited to the [time of] worship, but may  be given outside of the worship acts in an even more extensive manner than within worship; for Divine Opening is Generosity and Gifting while pious acts are to be rewarded in the next world”

He also said,” Do not ever enter to the Divine Presence (HhaDdra Ilahyat) while someone is drawing you from behind; for whosoever pretends, that he has received an Opening from Divine Providence, that he has received specialized approximation (Taqreeb), that his Knowledge of the Divine is from this type, that his drink is from this source, but is in truth indebted to another creature who is demanding its right from him, then, that person has lied and what he pretends to is false- for that, is the condition of Divine Opening. Knowledge may be bared to such a person but no Divine Proximity will be his”.

He also said, “There is nothing other than accord (Muwafaqa) and dissent (Mukhalafa).  Divine Proximity is reached through accord when the veils are lifted; through dissent, Divine Distance occurs and veils are sent, for He is the Near and the Far”.

He also said, “There are some slaves who are not negatively affected by rebellion and acts of transgression because Divine Providence has preceded in their case by Allah. O you transgressor of the limit of your Lord! Look at the kind of Openings that are occurring for you in the Eye of Proximity, have they changed or have they not? If they have, know then that Allah has warned you that you are in the Eye of Distance, were He to inspire you and lead you to successes in true Repentance, you would then be the “happy one”.

If your state has not changed despite your dissent and your transgression against sacredness then [try to understand]:
Is your continued success due to Divine Providence wherein transgressions do not affect you negatively “That Allah may forgive you of your sin that which is past and that which is yet to come” Surat al Fath (48): 2. [In your case], forgiveness has preceded transgression?
Alternatively, does this [this lack of change in your state] originate from the Eye of Ruse so that you weaken and then be deprived from your state only at the moment (waqt) when its loss would hurt you the most?

If it is a ruse, return to the Eye of Accord and obtain knowledge of the Word of Fahwaniat (the address of the Haqq in the Universe of Amthal [Models/Ideals: the Universe between the universe of the senses and the Universe of pure spirits]). With that Word, all suspicions and doubts are erased and there is no other Path to Him other than this one; if you do not find Him there, know then that this is a Ruse.*

He also said, “When Knowledge, from the side of al-Haqq, was spread on the carpet of Mercy, all creatures hurried towards it and took it from different paths. No matter how much they deviated from the path, which they took Mercy from, those who are responsible for this site redirect them to the “site of confluence of those paths”. If they respond to them, they will be fulfilled for those are more knowledgeable of the ‘Ayn al Jam’ than anyone else is. Their Ayn al Jam’(Eye of Togetherness) is the Absolute Oneness (Ahadiat) of the Path [? Travelling in Allah?]

*Definition obtained from al Futuhat al Makkiat

 Sheikh Syed Mutawali recites from Surat al Shura (42) verses 3-15

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ibn Arabi: "Of the name 3Abdullah"

Entrance to the Tomb of Sidi Muhyiddine
From Kitab al “3Abadila“(Those who carry the name 3Abd (slave, servant) + a beautiful Name)

Since the name 3Abd Allah is a comprehensive name for those elevated in ranks, we have made it a translator, as a translator combines many tongues. We then added this name to the Station (Maqam) of a slave who has been awarded one of the Stations of the Divine Names, a Perfected Pupil (Insan Kamel) a Prophet or a Friend of Allah (Wali)*.

*Surat Maryam 19:30 : “ He said: I am 3Abdullah, He gave me the Scripture and made me a Prophet” [Issa (as)].

3Abdullah ibn 3Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn 3Abdullah said:
“Of the Divine Presence, what emerged first is The Name. Of the Letters, the first that emerged is the Ba. Of the Objectified Beings (Mawjudat), the first that emerged is the Intrinsic Essence (Jawhar) and the first to be dyed with the hue (Sibghah*) of the Intrinsic Essence is the Light (Noor). The first Accident (‘AraDd) that emerged was Movement.
The first of His Qualities (Na3at) He allowed the witnessing thereof is Majesty (Jalal). The first that He uttered is “I” (Ana). The first attribute He accepted from the created is Timidity/Modesty (Haya’). The first momentary state of being (Hal) that comes to the created is dissolution, the first knowledge he is capable of receiving is the knowledge of Allah; in that knowledge, he is able to see his own self (Nafs)”.

* Surat al-Baqara 2:138: “A hue from Allah! And who could give a better hue than Allah, if we but truly worship Him?"

He also said, “3alam (Universe) is taken from 3alamat (Sign). For each truth points to a Divine Truth. The existence of the truth is founded on the Truth. Each truth and its Truth must remain coupled. When Allah (swt) remembers the Universe, look to which of the Names He has added to the Universe, it is thus that you can discern which of the Universes Allah addressed”.

He also said, “When al-Haqq (swt) refers to Himself in the singular [I] and refers to you in the plural, that is because of His Unicity and your multiplicity relative to your lack of needless-ness (Ghina) and to the existence of your poverty.
And When al-Haqq (swt) refers to Himself in the plural (Us,We), that is because of the truth of the Divine Names. When He addresses you in the singular it is because He is addressing one meaning (Ma3na) in you and not your totality. Know then whom in you He has addressed and open your hearing to His Divine Address”.
He also said, “The multiplicity of paths is due to the multiplicity of truths; only the straight ones He has decreed and those are all the ones which end towards Him”.

He also said: “Petitioning for [His] help is an affirmation of the Kawn (Creation,[ resulting from the command Kun]). The 3aref (Divine Knower) petitions from the standpoint that he is commanded to petition; he knows who the petitioner is and knows Who Knows whom the petitioner is”.

In addition, he said, “The reward of the common people (al 3amat) is according to the deeds and is granted out of the source of Ownership (3ayn al Mulk), while the reward of the Divine Knowers comes from the source of Bestowal/gifting (3ayn al Minnat)”.

And he said, “If a matter/a command (Amr) is established between 2 Divine Names, it will have two differing faces, as each Divine Name has a face that is different from that of another. The matter/command will seek the Name that has accepted it and has shown it Its Face, that is a Station of Truth (Haqq), a Seat of truthfulness (Sidq) * and a majestic rank due to what preceded it and what followed it of the Names...It is preserved from the occurrences of veiling”

*Surat al Qamar 55:54 : “in a seat of truth, in the presence of a Sovereign who determines all things”.
NB: * The quoted Qur'anic verses are not part of Ibn Arabi's text.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Surat al-Anaam 6:161-163

{ قُلْ إِنَّنِي هَدَانِي رَبِّيۤ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ دِيناً قِيَماً مِّلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفاً وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ } * { قُلْ إِنَّ صَلاَتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَالَمِينَ } * { لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذٰلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ

Say: "Behold, my Sustainer has guided me onto a straight way through an ever-true faith-the way of Ibrahim who turned away from all that is false, and was not of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him."

Ibn Arabi
{ قل إنني هداني ربّي إلى صراط مستقيم } إلى طريق التوحيد الذاتي { ديناً قيماً } ثابتاً أبداً لا تغيره الملل والنِحل ولا تنسخه الشرائع والكتب { ملّة إبراهيم } التي أعرض بها عن كل ما سواه بالترقي عن جميع المراتب مائلاً عن كل دين وطريق باطل فيه شرك ما، ولو بصفة من صفات الله تعالى.
Say, my Sustainer has guided me to the Path of the Unicity of the “Essence”, a Path that is steadfast, never changing, unaffected by the various (spiritual) Ways (Millah) and religions (Nihlah); a way that cannot be abrogated or concealed, neither by any religious regulations nor by any Scriptures. The way of Ibrahim by which he turned away from all other than Him, ascending beyond all ranks, avoiding every Path that may contain a hint of untruth, even if- this particular Path is- adhering to one of the attributes of Allah most high.

{ قل إن صلاتي } أي: حضوري بالقلب وشهودي بالروح { ونسكي } أي: تقرّبي أو كل
 ما أتقرّب به بالقلب { ومحياي } بالحق { ومماتي } بالنفس كلها { لله } لا نصيب لي ولا لأحد غيري فيها لأني قمت به له بالفناء فلا وجود لي ولا لغيري حتى يكون لي حظ ونصيب { ربّ العالمين } أي: له باعتبار الجمع في صورة تفاصيل الربوبية { لا شريك له } في ذلك جمعاً وتفصيلاً { وبذلك أُمرت } أي: أُمرت أن لا أرى غيره في عين الجمع ولا في صورة التفاصيل حتى أعمل له كما وصفني تعالى بقوله:
{ مَا زَاغَ ٱلْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَىٰ }
[النجم، الآية: 17] فهو الآخر والمأمور، والرائي والمرئي { وأنا أوّل المسلمين } المنقادين للفناء فيه بإسلام وجهي له باعتبار الرتبة في تفاصيل الذات وإلا فلا أول ولا آخر ولا مسلم ولا كافر.
Say My prayer : means my presence with my Heart and my witnessing with my soul;{نسكي} my approaching Him, and everything my heart uses to approach [through and with], my life by al-Haqq and the death of the totality of my Nafs, all are for Allah: meaning that neither I nor any other have any part of it. For I undertook evanescence (Fana’) only for His sake: There is no existence for me or for others within this Path . 
All this is for Him, the Sustainer of all the Universes ( Rabb- al- Alameen) : in the totality of all His Attributes and in their detailing. This, I was commanded meaning: I was commanded to see no other than Him in the high rank of "Togetherness of the Essence"* and not in the Shape or details of the creation (Sufiyya: the outer form (Surat) of creation)**. All this, in order that I may act in and towards Him as He has described me [The vision did not deviate nor did it exceed the limit : al-Najm, 53:17]. He is simultaneously the Other and the One who is commanded, the Seer and the One who sees. [And I am the first of those who submitted], those who are led to evanescence in Him as I surrender my face and my direction to Him (Wajh). For the Highest rank is within the details of the Essence where ultimately there is no first and no last, no one who surrendered and no one who covered the truth.
*Ayn al Jam3’ (Eye/Essence of Togetherness)
** Seeking Allah’s attributes and deeds in the universe is a lower rank of gnosis, worshiping the outer manifestations (Surat) even if created according to His own Surat is limiting ourselves. We must aim further along in time, space and spiritual knowledge towards the Essence.
A very moving recitation of the verses from Shaykh Ragheb Mustapha Ghalwash, Syria 1969 (item 2)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Al-Haqq ravished me" (Jadhb): Emir Abd el Kader

Mawqif 7

Al-Haqq ravished me away from my (illusory) Self and brought me closer to my real (Self); the disappearance of the earth has led to the disappearance of the heavens (1). The All and its parts have become one. The vertical and the horizontal have been annihilated (2). The supererogatory works have given way to the obligatory works (3) and all colors have returned to the pure primordial whiteness (4).

The voyage has reached its term and anything other than Hu has ceased to exist. Attributions, considerations and relations having been abolished, the original state has been reestablished:
" Today I have lowered your lineage and raised My lineage (5) ".

The words of al-Hallaj were said to me, with the difference that he himself had uttered them while in my case, they were uttered for me. Those words whose meaning is understood and accepted only by those who deserve them; those words which are misunderstood and rejected by those in whom ignorance prevails.

(1) The earth and the heavens represent respectively the Manifest Universe ('Alam al-Shahada) and the Hidden Universe ('Alam al-Ghayb) to which correspond microscopically, the world of the flesh and that of the spirit. Their disappearance here is a consequence of their resorption into the Principle.

(2) This use of technical language was first seen in Hallaj : verticality:refers to the spiritual world that of the pure concepts and divine commandments; horizontality: refers to the physical world of the creation.
The annihilation of the geometrical dimensions refers to the return to the Initial Point.

(3) The annihilation of the supererogatory acts refers to the extinction of the individual will and its identification with the Divine Will in the thought of Ibn'Arabi.

(4) Symbolically, the colors are due to an artificial tainting (insibagh) of the original white Light.

(5) Hadith Qudsi reported by Ibn 'Arabi in "The Ringstones of Wisdom" (Fusus al-Hikam) and discussed at length in the Chapter : "Ringstone of Prophet Hud".
Our relationship to al-Haqq is closer than any other relationship because it is the relationship to our most intimate self. All other relationships disappear in presence of Allah (swt), Surat al- Mu'minoon: 23: 101: " For when the trumpet is blown, that day there shall be no kinship any more between them, neither shall they question each other."

This is from the book of "Mawaqif"  ( Spiritual halts/Pauses ) of Emir Abd al-Kader on the description of the state of being ravished (Majdhub)

I have used the French translation of the " Ecrits Spirituels" of M. Chodkiewicz (including the footnotes) and the English translation of "The Ringstones of Wisdom" of Caner Dagli which is highly readable and contains excellent glosses.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Niffari: Mawqif al-Bahr ( Pause at the Sea) & Surat Hud 11:41

{ وَقَالَ ٱرْكَبُواْ فِيهَا بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ مَجْريٰهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا إِنَّ رَبِّي لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }

" And he said : "Embark therein. In the name of Allah is its run and its anchoring. Indeed my Sustainer is incessantly and comprehensively forgiving and merciful". " Surat Hud : 11:41"

The Stop-over or Pause is a step between two stations of the Path according to Ibn 'Arabi.

This Mawqif is considered to be addressed to those in the beginning of Suluk (walk on the Path). It concerns primarily the central issue of maintaining a correct Intention on the Path and what the Salik encounters of the fruits of his attempts. The Sea is understood to be what the Salek must cross and within which he must travel during his walk on the Path.

موقف البحر

أوقفني في البحر فرأيت المراكب تغرق والألواح تسلم، ثم غرقت الألواح، وقال لي لا يسلم من ركب.

وقال لي خاطر من ألقى نفسه ولم يركب.

وقال لي هلك من ركب وما خاطر.

وقال لي في المخاطرة جزء من النجاة، وجاء الموج ورفع ما تحته وساح على الساحل.

وقال لي ظاهر البحر ضوء لا يبلغ، وقعرة ظلمه لا تمكن، وبينهما حيتان لا تستأمن.

وقال لي لا تركب البحر فأحجبك بالآلة، ولا تلق نفسك فيه فأحجبك به.

وقال لي في البحر حدود أيها يقلك.

وقال لي إذا وهبت نفسك للبحر فغرقت فيه كنت كدابة من دوابه.

وقال لي غششتك إن دللتك على سواي.

وقال لي إن هلكت في سواي كنت لما هلكت فيه.

وقال لي الدنيا لمن صرفته عنها وصرفتها عنه، والآخرة لمن أقبلت بها إليه وأقبلت به علي.

Stop-over at the Sea

He stopped me at the Sea:
I saw the vessels sink and the planks remain afloat; eventually, the planks did also sink.
He said to me:
"He who rides (a vessel) is not safe. He who throws himself [in the sea] and does not ride a vessel is taking a risk. He who rides and does not take a risk will reach perdition"
He said to me:
"A part of Salvation lies in the taking of risk. The waves come, lift what lies underneath them and spread it and themselves openly on the shore".
He said to me:
" The surface of the Sea is Luminosity the source of which cannot be reached; the bottom of the Sea is Darkness, indomitable. Between Luminosity and Darkness live the beasts of the sea which cannot be trusted/with whom there is no safety"
He said to me:
" Do not ride (a vessel) in the sea, I would then veil you from Me through its instrument/mean, and do not throw yourself in the sea, I would then veil you from Me through the sea itself."
He said to me:
" If you give yourself to the sea and drown in it then you are nothing but another one of the beasts of the sea."
He said to me:
" I would be cheating you if I were ever to direct you/show you evidence for other than Me."
He said to me:
" If you reach perdition in the pursuit of other than Me, you will be delivered to what you reached perdition for"
He said to me:
" This world ( al-Dunyah) belongs to the one whom I distracted from it; the afterworld (al-Akhira) belongs to the one I approached through it and brought him to Myself"
Further reading: 
1. Sharh Mawaqef al Niffari ( Explanation of the Pauses of Niffari) by al 'Aref billah al-Tilmasani (d. 690 H)
2. Tajrid al-Tawhid Lil Niffari (Divestment in the Tawhid of Niffari) Dr. Jamal Ahmad Marzuqi